Cycling and bicycle discussion forums. 
   Click here to join our community Log in to access your Control Panel  


Go Back   > >

Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

User Tag List

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 10-29-06, 12:00 PM   #1
wheel
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
wheel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Crystal MN
Bikes:
Posts: 2,147
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
LBS loathing.

I really am motivated in learning how to fix my bicycles and the LBS is the reason.

I always feel belittled by them from what they say and don't say.
The bike never comes out totally fixed (or not fixed at all) and I try to tell them tiny problems as they roll their eyes.
They move the seat all out of wack. Even leaving it in unrideable positions.
When they sell things they are extremely expensive.


I have no problem with supporting them in fixing my bicycle or buying things from them, but as stated above I want to be a customer not their enabler. I should not have to cringe everytime I take it in.

Bycotting is not a solution since I have no car, and need someone close.
I have two too choose from and each gives me different problems.
wheel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-29-06, 12:04 PM   #2
Ngchen
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Knoxville, TN
Bikes:
Posts: 505
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Well, stores vary in quality. Perhaps you happen to have a bad LBS. You might want to check around to see if there are alternative LBS's you could patronize. In addition, it doesn't hurt to learn more about doing repairs by yourself, although chances are the first time you do any specific repair, it will take 10x the time it would take you doing it a second or subsequent time.
Ngchen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-29-06, 12:05 PM   #3
Portis
Banned.
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Home alone
Bikes: Trek 4300 X 2. Trek 1000, Trek 6000
Posts: 6,019
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Meet your new LBS.-----> www.parktool.com

I'm pretty hard to please as a customer, so i figured i better start doing my own work so i would have nobody else to blame.
Portis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-29-06, 12:49 PM   #4
Marylandnewbie
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Silver Spring, MD
Bikes: Fuji Supreme
Posts: 1,701
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
LEarning to do some of your own repairs and adjustments is always a wise investment in yourself. The more you practice the better you will get at diagnosing and fixing problems. And bike repair is not rocket science -- check out the Park Tool site, work slowly and carefully and keep all the parts carefully sorted out so you can reassemble it all when you are done. That being said, I second the idea of checking out other shops for ones with a better attitude. I've not found huge price difference betwwen shops in my area, but attitude can be very different.
Marylandnewbie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-29-06, 12:58 PM   #5
mastershake916
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Nor~Cal
Bikes:
Posts: 1,691
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Well you will have to buy tools, so if you're short on cash at the current time, try to find a better bike shop.
But for things that are easy, or have cheap tools go for it.
I don't think you should have any problem with the small stuff/
mastershake916 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-29-06, 01:05 PM   #6
Simmons Lane
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2006
Bikes:
Posts: 90
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
(two to choose from)

I think they may be messing with you based on your frustration and then it snowballs. I have become frustrated with local bike shops at times but you have to try and look at things from their perspective too. It's too bad though if they both seem to not be satisfying you you couldn't put your bike on a bus and take it to another shop further away. I rarely have to have a shop do anything so it shouldn't be that often of an occurance should it? ...Good ideas on doing your own stuff though.
Simmons Lane is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-29-06, 01:08 PM   #7
mastershake916
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Nor~Cal
Bikes:
Posts: 1,691
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Simmons Lane
(two to choose from)

I think they may be messing with you based on your frustration and then it snowballs. I have become frustrated with local bike shops at times but you have to try and look at things from their perspective too. It's too bad though if they both seem to not be satisfying you you couldn't put your bike on a bus and take it to another shop further away. I rarely have to have a shop do anything so it shouldn't be that often of an occurance should it? ...Good ideas on doing your own stuff though.
Or just ride it, I mean it is a bike, and this is the commuter forum.
mastershake916 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-29-06, 01:36 PM   #8
chephy
Two H's!!! TWO!!!!!
 
chephy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Toronto, ON
Bikes:
Posts: 4,221
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
There are good LBSs and bad LBSs. You seem to have a bad one, at least in the repair and customer service department. Better ones exist, but may be inconvenient, too far etc.

Fixing your own bike can be a lot of fun, and at least you know nothing will be left to chance.
chephy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-29-06, 03:43 PM   #9
FarHorizon
Senior Curmudgeon
 
FarHorizon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Directly above the center of the earth
Bikes: Varies by day
Posts: 3,856
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Befriend the wrenches at your LBS. They'll bend over backwards to help you learn, give you premium service, give you cut-rate prices, and move your job to the front of the line often as not. How do you befriend an overworked, underpaid wrench? BRIBE THEM! A box of cookies or a home-made pie goes farther than all the $$ you can pay to the shop on a repair job.

Human nature being what it is, folks like to receive attention. The LBS wrenches are folks too. You can't take their time, since that is what they're being paid for; the amount of money you could tip them wouldn't make much of a dent in their bills, either. A small treat on occasion seems to strike a balance between "too much" and "too little." No matter what you bring, it will always be appreciated.

Don't expect "quid pro quo" on your gifts either. Make it clear that you're willing to wait till the wrenches can do your job and that you're willing to pay what the shop wants to charge. Your fairness and generosity will be noted and reciprocated, eventually.

Just my 2-cents...
__________________
Nishiki road bike, Raleigh road bike, Electra Cruiser Lux 7d, Electra Townie 3i, Electra Townie 1, Whatever I find today!
FarHorizon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-29-06, 05:20 PM   #10
cudak888 
www.theheadbadge.com
 
cudak888's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Southern Florida
Bikes: http://www.theheadbadge.com
Posts: 22,744
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by FarHorizon
Befriend the wrenches at your LBS. They'll bend over backwards to help you learn, give you premium service, give you cut-rate prices, and move your job to the front of the line often as not. How do you befriend an overworked, underpaid wrench? BRIBE THEM! A box of cookies or a home-made pie goes farther than all the $$ you can pay to the shop on a repair job.

Human nature being what it is, folks like to receive attention. The LBS wrenches are folks too. You can't take their time, since that is what they're being paid for; the amount of money you could tip them wouldn't make much of a dent in their bills, either. A small treat on occasion seems to strike a balance between "too much" and "too little." No matter what you bring, it will always be appreciated.

Don't expect "quid pro quo" on your gifts either. Make it clear that you're willing to wait till the wrenches can do your job and that you're willing to pay what the shop wants to charge. Your fairness and generosity will be noted and reciprocated, eventually.

Just my 2-cents...

Doubt if that would work. Sounds as if the LBS is purposefully trying to drive him away ("Eh - another guy who wants his ancent [read = 'not bought off our showroom floor less then a year ago'] bike.").

I agree with most of the posters here - either find another LBS or fiddle about and attempt some of the repairs that don't require special/expensive tools yourself. If in doubt... www.sheldonbrown.com.

-Kurt
__________________
cudak888 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-29-06, 05:27 PM   #11
chephy
Two H's!!! TWO!!!!!
 
chephy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Toronto, ON
Bikes:
Posts: 4,221
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
So they roll out a bike with a seat in an unrideable position and you smile and give them some cookies. That's called rewarding bad behaviour.

I say, ditch them. Find another shop for major repairs, and do relatively minor stuff yourself (the definitions of "major" and "minor" vary with cyclists' mechanical skills, of course).
chephy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-29-06, 06:20 PM   #12
ken cummings
Senior Member
 
ken cummings's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: northern California
Bikes: Bruce Gordon BLT, Cannondale parts bike, Ecodyne recumbent trike, Counterpoint Opus 2, miyata 1000
Posts: 5,601
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I had to replace a bent handlebar, brakes, bar end shifters and all. I just picked up a bike repair book (one of several available) at the local library and did it with the basic tools I carry all the time. The book made it clear when special tools were need, like freewheel removers. Also, our local bicycle activists maintain a little shop, open twice a week, that are fully equiped for people to do their own repairs. There is always someone there who can help. See if your town has something like that.
ken cummings is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-29-06, 06:22 PM   #13
I-Like-To-Bike
Been Around Awhile
 
I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Burlington Iowa
Bikes: Vaterland and Ragazzi
Posts: 23,512
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by FarHorizon
Befriend the wrenches at your LBS. They'll bend over backwards to help you learn, give you premium service, give you cut-rate prices, and move your job to the front of the line often as not. How do you befriend an overworked, underpaid wrench? BRIBE THEM!...
Are you serious? I believe the other posters gave the OP good advice.
I-Like-To-Bike is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-29-06, 07:25 PM   #14
knobster
.
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Hillsboro, Oregon
Bikes: Specialized Roubaix Comp, Soma ES
Posts: 3,979
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Pick up a beater and use it as your learning environment. I picked up a 1993 Trek 520 for just that. That way if it takes you a little while to get it working that's ok, it's not your primary bike.
knobster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-29-06, 08:50 PM   #15
banerjek
Portland Fred
 
banerjek's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Bikes: Custom Winter, Challenge Seiran SL, Fuji Team Pro, Cattrike Road/Velokit, РOS hybrid
Posts: 11,174
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by wheel
...
I always feel belittled by them from what they say and don't say.
The bike never comes out totally fixed (or not fixed at all) and I try to tell them tiny problems as they roll their eyes.
They move the seat all out of wack. Even leaving it in unrideable positions. ...
A number of things could be going on. As others have mentioned, you might have a bad LBS. Your expectations might not be realistic. For example, some tiny problems can be amazingly time consuming to diagnose and fix, but they don't actually need to be fixed. Part of maintaining a bike is knowing what things do and do not require attention.

Whatever the case, it is always worth knowing how to do things. If you understand how to do things, you can tell people what you need, ask the right questions, answer questions others have for you, and understand what your money pays for.

In my professional life, I design and support things for people. My experience is that providing service for a knowledgeable customer is far easier because I understand what the customer needs, s/he understands my constraints when I communicate them, so the end result is a superior product delivered in much less time. In my opinion, the least informed customers are the hardest and most time consuming ones to work with -- and their level of satisfaction with the process and final product tends to be lower.
banerjek is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-29-06, 09:45 PM   #16
DataJunkie
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Bikes:
Posts: 14,280
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I'm so damn picky bike stores find me irritating... and impatient. With a reasonable amount of mechanical skills and patience you can easily perform most repairs yourself.
Anyhow, find a new LBS and pick up a book. Browse sheldonbrown.com and parktools.com.
Research and then purchase your tools. Working on a bike is very rewarding.
Heck, I can barely work on a car but I am having a fair amount of success with bikes. This morning I overhauled my rear hub and replaced a set of brake pads. The brake pads were nothing but the hub took a bit of time. Stupid irritating noise. I will get you yet! Now for some tools to work on my freehub with. he he My wife is going to kill me.
DataJunkie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-29-06, 11:04 PM   #17
mastershake916
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Nor~Cal
Bikes:
Posts: 1,691
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by ken cummings
I had to replace a bent handlebar, brakes, bar end shifters and all. I just picked up a bike repair book (one of several available) at the local library and did it with the basic tools I carry all the time. The book made it clear when special tools were need, like freewheel removers. Also, our local bicycle activists maintain a little shop, open twice a week, that are fully equiped for people to do their own repairs. There is always someone there who can help. See if your town has something like that.
Where in Nor-Cal do you live?
mastershake916 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-30-06, 12:37 AM   #18
Zero_Enigma
Senior Member
 
Zero_Enigma's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: North of the 49th Parallel (GPS grid soon)
Bikes: MTB Peugoet Canyon (forgot the model), Nikishi? roadbike, MTB custom build,
Posts: 1,765
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by wheel
I really am motivated in learning how to fix my bicycles and the LBS is the reason.

I always feel belittled by them from what they say and don't say.
The bike never comes out totally fixed (or not fixed at all) and I try to tell them tiny problems as they roll their eyes.
They move the seat all out of wack. Even leaving it in unrideable positions.
When they sell things they are extremely expensive.


I have no problem with supporting them in fixing my bicycle or buying things from them, but as stated above I want to be a customer not their enabler. I should not have to cringe everytime I take it in.

Bycotting is not a solution since I have no car, and need someone close.
I have two too choose from and each gives me different problems.
Dood I feel exactly the same way with my two closest LBS's. Well I've never had the bikes in to be fixed yet but I'm just fromt he buying side of things. One LBS always seems to be pushing products at times and you feel some pressure to buy because of the small store setting. Anyways that too has sparked me to learn slowly how to fix my own bike to some level. Start small then build your way up. A flat tire fix/patch, then brake pads, then cabling, etc. I've not gone past the flat tire phase yet but I'm thinking of getting a beater to work on.

I would look into taking a bike repair course. Check with your local college, community center, or schools. I forgot what they call it here but I think it's called "adult education centers" or something like that. I'll have to find the catalog again. There is a bike course here that covers head to toe on the bike for something like $165 CDN and I think there is a basic maintance course that is less technical for around less then $100 bucks. I think if you have something like what I mentioned and you're short on cash then go with the (if you have the two levels of courses) the less cost course and you can ifx most of the issues on your bike and it's a good personal investment. Heck, who knows, those skills might come in handy if you see a damsel in distress and her bike is not working then you can break out the tools and be the hero.

Anyways, hope that helps some.


Zero_Enigma
Zero_Enigma is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-30-06, 08:11 AM   #19
fender1
Senior Member
 
fender1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Berwyn PA
Bikes: I hate bikes!
Posts: 5,516
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6 Post(s)
I will post this link to show you that you can do most of your own repairs and I never get tired of positng pics of my bike!

Vintage Schwinn: Conversion to Nexus 8 (Pics!)

I have had similar experiences wiht some LBS's in my area. I got the Park big blue book of bike repair, a basic tool kit from NAshbar and my life is a whole lot easier!!!. When repair sitiuations arise I now feel able to diagnose and determine if the repair is within or above my limits. What I have learned so far helps me in situtions when there is no LBS help around. Either way I will do my best to make the repair myself, if it is going to the shop anyway I might as well give it a shot. In addition I have found that my being able to discuss the repair issues with the LBS techs from a more knowledgeable standpoint has been a great help as well. I get what I want/need and am happy. They are better able to help/solve the problem diffinitively and are happy. I would encougae you to jump right in, have patience and buy a back up bike if you do not have one already. Having a back up ride really takes the pressure off when having to have a repair done. Good luck!
fender1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-30-06, 10:54 AM   #20
Phantoj
Certifiable Bike "Expert"
 
Join Date: May 2005
Bikes:
Posts: 5,632
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I do all my own repairs, pretty much, but I get a lot of help from this board, and the best advice here often comes from LBS mechanics. So don't blast the LBS too harshly!
Phantoj is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-30-06, 11:03 AM   #21
cerewa
put our Heads Together
 
cerewa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: southeast pennsylvania
Bikes: a mountain bike with a cargo box on the back and aero bars on the front. an old well-worn dahon folding bike
Posts: 3,155
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by datajunkie
Browse sheldonbrown.com and parktools.com.
Careful about typo's in URLs.

The link should be parktool.com with no S.

But they're great websites, as others have said.
cerewa is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-30-06, 11:07 AM   #22
HardyWeinberg
GATC
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: south Puget Sound
Bikes:
Posts: 7,473
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 35 Post(s)
2 of 3 LBS's in my area give good and friendly service, one of those has good hours, but while their service is friendly it is not reliable, so yeah, DIY is the order of the day. The one that is open <40 hrs a week does the best but they're just not always accessable.
HardyWeinberg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-30-06, 11:08 AM   #23
jeff-o
Recumbent Evangelist
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Kitchener, Ontario
Bikes: Rebel Cycles Trike, Trek 7500FX
Posts: 2,991
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Definitely learn to do some basic repairs yourself. I think Nashbar has their bigger-than-big bike tool set on sale for $100. It's not the best tools, but they'll get you started.

Then go out to amazon.com or Chapters and get "Bicycle Maintenance and Repair" from Bicycling Magazine. It will tell you almost everything you need to know; the Internet will tell you the rest.
jeff-o is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-30-06, 11:23 AM   #24
noisebeam
Al
 
noisebeam's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: AZ
Bikes: Cannondale SuperSix, Lemond Poprad. Retired: Jamis Sputnik, Centurion LeMans Fixed, Diamond Back ascent ex
Posts: 14,109
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 26 Post(s)
Where do you take your bike?
I find the important connection is not with the LBS, but with the techs who work on your bike. Some are good/helpful, others less so.
I did lots of work on my newer bikes with LBS as they were under warrantee - even repairs I can do myself, I'd rather have done at no charge by LBS under warrantee. As that expires, I do more myself.
Al
noisebeam is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-30-06, 12:30 PM   #25
DataJunkie
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Bikes:
Posts: 14,280
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by cerewa
Careful about typo's in URLs.

The link should be parktool.com with no S.

But they're great websites, as others have said.
How many Hail Marries do I need to perform to make up for such a horrid mistake?
Could I just flog myself?
DataJunkie is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 12:53 AM.